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Arena: 'We Need to Start Focusing on Playing'

  • ESPN FC, Monday, October 20, 2014 1:02 PM

Bruce Arena suggested that Landon Donovan’s long MLS goodbye has become a distraction following the Los Angeles Galaxy’s 2-2 draw with the Seattle Sounders at StubHub Center on Sunday night. "We need to start focusing on playing," Arena said after the game, which saw LA blow a two-goal lead. "We're real pleased that the process is now complete and we're entering the last regular season game and the playoffs and hopefully we and Landon can focus on that."

Arena was referring to the sentimentality surrounding Donovan’s last-ever regular season home game, which was accompanied by childhood photos and videos of the MLS star in addition to the surprise appearance of two of Donovan’s favorite musical acts, Five for Fighting and Boyz II Men. Meanwhile, the Supporter’s Shield was on the line for both clubs. "Certainly it's a disappointing ending," Arena said. "We should have done a better job of protecting a two-goal lead, no question about it."

Donovan also admitted that the retirement hoopla was starting to take its toll. "I was excited and energetic in the first part of the game, but I think I wore out as that game went on," he said. "I need to now really step back and focus. This has all been incredible. I wouldn't have it any other way, but I want to finish the season right. It's time to step back now. You guys won't see as much of me -- fortunately for you guys -- in the next few weeks. We'll get back to business."

LA travels to Seattle on Saturday for the final game of the regular season needing a win to lift the Supporter’s Shield, while Seattle would win it with a draw.


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